Identifying new prospects is key to focusing your efforts as a relationship sales executive. Statistics show that 7 out of 10 companies say that high quality leads are their top challenge. However, we consistently see companies reach their bottlenecks and unsure of where to start. Traditional prospect identification strategies each have pros and cons.
- In-bound leads: These are preferred, since they are highly qualified leads. But, it it is rare for a company to be satisfied with its current inbound leads.
- Buying lists: While lists provide a large amount of prospects, their quality is usually poor.
- Integrating a database: Companies like data.com and LinkedSV can provide screened and searchable databases to integrate directly with your CRM. These are an excellent approach at volume, but can be quite expensive for smaller efforts.
- Outsourced lead generation: Most lead generation companies can work with you to create lead generation campaigns, but visibility into their process can be limited. Also, since they are compensated based on the number of leads generated, they care little for the lead quality or the long-term value of your brand.
- In-house research: While we all know prospects and how to find them ourselves, in-house research tends to be very time-intensive. For that reason, this type of process is often left on the back-burner.
In most cases, these options leave you spinning your wheels when trying to source new leads. Instead, here’s a simple process that will help you maintain a consistent flow of prospects.
Step 1: Develop an ideal customer profile
Before you can start generating leads, your team needs to know where to focus its efforts. Take a few minutes to brainstorm together and create a short document that outlines:
1) The profile of your target company
- Specific business characteristics
2) The characteristics of your target contact
- Functions / Job Titles
- Responsibilities of roles you are trying to reach
Step 2: Share the profile with your team
Rather than trying to generate leads all by yourself, engage your team (or entire company) in identifying target companies. Share your profiles at team and department meetings and via target list (see Step 3 below).
Step 3: Create a list of target companies
Create a database of target companies that you and your team can easily update. At Prialto, we use a common Smartsheet that everyone can access and to which everyone is encouraged to contribute.
Step 4: Leverage remote resources for the generation of specific leads
With a structured process, you can easily leverage remote labor and/or personal assistants to review companies, identify people in targeted roles, and source contact information.
Once you have this process working smoothly, you should have a steady flow of leads to upload to your CRM. As a next step, you will want to develop a strategy to move these prospects through your sales pipeline. Since each business is unique, prospect outreach generally requires a more customized approach for your business.
Interested in learning more about contacting these leads? Look out for Prialto’s upcoming blog post on getting in touch with a target.